March 6, 2018 / 5:06 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-South Africa's ANC says to "press on" with c.bank nationalisation plan

(Recasts with ANC statement)

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG, March 6 (Reuters) - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday it would “press on” with draft legislation on the nationalisation of the central bank despite delaying a parliamentary debate on the issue.

The ANC resolved at a party conference in December to move to full state ownership of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Following that proposal, the central bank said any change of ownership would not affect its mandate or independence.

Early on Tuesday the ANC’s parliamentary caucus withdrew a motion on full public ownership of the Reserve Bank, which was scheduled for debate on Tuesday afternoon, to allow for more consultation within the party and with important stakeholders.

But in a later statement the party said it intended to reintroduce the motion and that it would be fully aligned with the outcomes of its December conference.

“The postponement creates an adequate platform for the ANC to place on the agenda an instructive motion that places South Africa on the path of radical socio-economic transformation,” the party said.

Radical socio-economic transformation is a phrase used by some sections of the ANC to refer to efforts to address deep racial inequalities, which persist in South Africa more than two decades after the end of white minority rule in 1994.

Unlike most central banks in the world, the South African Reserve Bank has been privately owned since it was established in 1921. But its shareholders have no control over monetary policy, financial stability policy or banking regulation.

The ANC repeated on Tuesday that the current ownership structure of the central bank was a “historical anomaly” and said any future motion on the Reserve Bank would affirm its independence. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf in Cape Town and Alexander Winning in Johannesburg Editing by James Macharia)

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